Climbing Escalade Canada celebrates milestone: introducing its first gender-balanced board!

Jun 4, 2021

Climbing Escalade Canada unveils today the composition of the 2021 Board of Directors, following the 2021 Annual General Meeting, which took place virtually on Monday May 31, 2021. CEC is humble to introduce gender parity at the board level (4 womxn, 4 men).

Michelle Ang
Paul Dormaar
Elise Sethna
Joachim Stroink
Jeff Taylor
Nicolas Valence
Stacey Weldon
Kathy Woods

Michelle Ang, BC
CEC Director since May 2021

Michelle has worked as a medical researcher, provincial program developer and project manager in the healthcare industry, bringing experience in developing provincial strategic health policies, stakeholder relations, communications, and government relations to CEC. She has also worked in the areas of strategy development, governance policies and processes, and is a self-identified diverse leader (visible minority, female).

Michelle has been an active committee member with CEC since March 2020, participating as a member on both the Pandemic Task Force, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. On the Pandemic ask Force, she helped chair the development of The CEC COVID-19 Guidance Document: Suggestions, Tools, and Considerations Aimed to Assist Climbing Gyms Mitigate Potential Risks in the era of COVID-19.

Michelle is a passionate recreational climber and has actively participated in advocacy groups such as the Ontario Alliance of Climbers (OAC) as well as volunteered for the Treeline Women’s Outdoor Committee’s Women’s climbing festivals in Squamish since 2017.

Paul Dormaar, AB
CEC Director since May 2020

Paul has a strong background in finance and risk analysis. His work in the trading and investment world has built his understanding of legal, accounting, risk, IT and governance issues. He has worked for global and Canadian companies in the financial services and oil and gas industries. Paul’s not-for-profit experience includes his role as the Chair of the Calgary Section of the Alpine Club of Canada, a position he has held for 4 years. He has supported women’s mentorship and multiculturalism as well as advocating for the mountains, and speaking out on climate change. Paul has been climbing since the 70’s, coming to the sport through outdoor climbing. He now climbs both indoor and out and has always looked for ways to give back to a sport that has given him so much. Paul is retired from professional life and maintains a small real estate portfolio.

Elise Sethna, AB
CEC Director since May 2021

Elise is the recently elected President of the CEC’s Athletes Commission. She was born and raised in Banff where she began climbing at only 8 years old. Elise has a long history in competition climbing where she attended 6 youth world championships and represented Canada on the open national team for 8 years. Throughout her climbing career she was the three time Canadian open bouldering national champion and placed top 10 in a bouldering world cup.

Since retiring from competition climbing, Elise has extended her passion for climbing into the community. She has coached youth athletes, advised on the Olympic bid and was instrumental in conducting CEC’s first Strategic Review as a volunteer. She has continued her volunteer work with CEC running the 2020 Strategic Planning process.

Professionally, Elise works for Deloitte in their Human Capital consulting practice and is passionate about the work she does to make businesses better places to work. She now lives in Calgary, AB and still climbs actively, both indoor and out.

Joachim Stroink, NS
CEC Director since May 2019

Joachim has worked in the outdoor industry for over 20 years. Of those 20 years 12 of them were owning his own stores, The Trail Shop and Rackology, which he sold in 2017. In 2013 he was elected to Nova Scotia House of Assembly where he sat as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) until 2017. Joachim is an active parent in the east coast climbing community.

Jeffrey Taylor, BC
CEC Director since May 2018

Jeff has been actively involved in the Canadian climbing community since 2004. Jeff is a practicing lawyer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, a leading Canadian law firm, where he practices in the Securities and Capital Markets Group. Previously, Jeff practiced at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Jeff advises public and private companies with respect to mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions, as well as on general corporate, compliance and governance matters. Jeff also has experience acting for not-for-profit companies, start-up companies and private equity and venture capital funds. Jeff’s direct experience working with boards and management teams has enabled him to bring an understanding of growth strategies, risk management and corporate governance to CEC. Jeff is an active climber and previously was a member of competitive climbing teams in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

Nicolas Valence, QC
CEC Director since May 2020

Nicolas has a long history in climbing, having been both a recreational and competitive climber, route-setter, belayer, judge, and the parent of competitive climbers. He has held roles on the FQME Board and has volunteered his time for multiple CEC comps, initiatives and committees. Nic is a senior leader with a long history in facilities management, account management and operations. His extensive professional experience with global organizations makes him a strong business generalist who can work across the areas of finance, legal, HR, Health and Safety, and operations. He currently leads facility management and public-private partnerships projects at a global green organization. Nic’s not-for-profit experience includes 7 years on the BOMA Quebec Board acting as treasurer. He brings to the CEC a strong knowledge of not-for-profit governance, including financial leadership. For years, he has also been organizing an annual kayak fundraiser supporting pediatric cancer and the Charles-Bruneau Foundation.

Stacey Weldon, AB
CEC Director since May 2018

Stacey has been involved in the Canadian climbing community for almost 25 years in a wide range of roles, allowing her to bring a unique perspective. She grew up in the grassroots of competition climbing in Canada, was one of the first female athletes to compete consistently internationally, coached club teams and national teams, and has spent two years as a CEC board director and president of the athletes’ commission.

Stacey is recognized as a female leader in sport, having been selected by the IFSC to be part of the Women in Leadership Program of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations. She is passionate about issues related body image and eating disorder, with a focus on prevention and education

Professionally, Stacey is a critical care nurse currently working in Calgary. She brings to CEC strong team orientation, an analytical mindset, and the ability to look at the big picture.

Kathy Woods, ON
CEC Director since May 2019

Kathy brings to the CEC Board 30+ years of experience in Canada and globally as a strategy and human capital consultant and business leader. She also brings experience in the not-for-profit world, having served as a director on the Board of the ALS Society of Ontario and as a member on the Women Moving Women Committee of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has supported the facilitation and development of strategic plans for a variety of not-for-profit boards, including her volunteer work with the CEC leading the strategic review in 2018-2019. Kathy has worked with corporate boards as both a consultant and business leader and so understands governance and the mechanics of operating within a board structure.

Kathy is known for being a strong leader, influencer and coach, and for getting things done. She is passionate about having an impact and making a difference in an area that has personal meaning while also leveraging her unique skills.

Prior to the pandemic, Kathy volunteered regularly at OCF competitions, including as a certified judge for both bouldering and difficulty events. She and her family are active recreational climbers, both indoor and out, and her daughter was also a competitive climber.

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